Digital Marketing in the Age of Amazon

Digital Marketing in the Age of Amazon

By: Stephanie Morris, Marketing Content Coordinator 

Amazon has quickly become a powerhouse for online shopping. Shoppers can buy jewelry, clothes, electronics and even food with just the click of a button. Amazon has expanded its reach while keeping the shopper in mind, thus making it is easier to purchase all of your necessities from one site versus having to visit three or four.  Although Amazon and the automotive retailing industry are still somewhat distinct, new and used car dealerships can get ideas from the online retail giant on how to improve their car shopper’s experiences. Below are a few tips on how your dealership’s digital marketing can run more like Amazon.

“The first thing 62% of online shoppers turn to before purchasing anything is a company’s reviews.”

The first thing 62% of online shoppers turn to before purchasing anything is a company’s reviews.1 Amazon makes sure that finding and writing reviews is simple. Products with a higher quantity and quality of reviews tend to be purchased more often. Buyers read reviews to determine if the product’s offering matches the actual deliverable.  The same can be said for new and used car dealerships. Before deciding on where to service or purchase a vehicle, many consumers turn to online reviews. If your online reputation is marred by one and two-star reviews, it is likely you are losing customers. The better your dealership’s online reputation, the more likely it is for online car shoppers to trust you and your staff.

After a shopper purchases an item, Amazon asks the buyer to leave a review. Automotive dealerships should be doing the same. It not only helps build an online footprint but also gives your dealership staff time to address any problems that have disappointed customers.

“…88% of car shoppers use the internet to shop…”

Aside from the reviews, another critical part of Amazon’s user experience is the responsive website design. Amazon’s website is easy to use, whether it is on a phone, tablet or desktop, thanks to its responsive design. Shoppers do not need to be on a specific device or in a certain browser in order to search. New and used car dealerships need to make sure their website is designed in the same manner. According to the 2016 Car Buyer Journey, 88% of car shoppers use the internet to shop, so it is vital that your dealership’s website is easy to maneuver, SEO optimized and appealing to the eye. The harder it is to navigate your website, the more likely shoppers will leave your site. When building a website, remember that it needs to be user-friendly across all browsers and devices from the homepage to the service scheduling page.

In addition to having a responsive design, Amazon provides product detail pages that outline specific product attributes and dimensions, giving potential buyers more information about the product of interest.  Automotive dealerships need to follow suit. Vehicle Description Pages (VDPs) should have unique content and pricing. A Lexus RX is not the same as a Honda Civic, so their pages should reflect the differences in price and overall detail of the vehicle. Online car shoppers look to the VDP for pricing information, the color of the vehicle, the type of engine, trim levels and other details.  The better the VDP, the higher the chance someone visiting your website will submit a lead.

If an individual visits your website and leaves without contacting you or submitting a lead, social ads can be used to bring them back. Amazon and many other retailers use this retargeting tactic on social media. Once a shopper visits your website, ads will begin to appear in their social media feeds based on what they searched, viewed or bought. This is Amazon’s way of trying to get you to come back and spend more. Likewise, auto dealerships can target car shoppers who looked at a specific VDP. In addition to retargeting ads, predictive inventory ads use the information about a shopper’s current vehicle to present vehicles that would meet their interest and needs. These ads plant a seed in the car shopper’s mind, thus increasing the chances they will step foot in your dealership and purchase a new car.

By implementing a few of these tips, your dealership will be running like Amazon in no time. Stay tuned for part 3 of the 4 part series on how to run your dealership like Amazon. To implement the digital marketing strategies outlined above, call 877.421.1040.

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